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Chapter 9: On Calm and Quietude

Junaid was passing from a forest. Near a lake he saw a man. The very appearance was that of a drunkard and there was also a woman with the man. Of course immediately the mind started working. Why was this man here with a woman? Interpretation. And then he was pouring something from a surahi, a decanter - must be wine. Woman and wine together and the isolation of a forest? Things became clear. He thought he had understood.

Then there was a storm and a small boat was coming to this side of the lake, and it sunk. The saint could not gather courage to jump into the stormy water but the drunkard jumped in to save the men. He saved six men out of seven and then he was absolutely tired. He said to Junaid, “You are a great saint. Why are you standing there? Why can’t you do something? Now only one man is left, you save him - otherwise remember that his blood will be on you. I have done whatsoever I could.”

Suddenly Junaid became aware that he had been thinking that this man was a drunkard, a womanizer, a corrupt man, a sinner, but he had done something that was more saintly than he had ever imagined, and he could not gather courage. It was dangerous, it was a risk; he could not even gather courage to help the seventh man. The drunkard again jumped in and brought the seventh man out of the lake also.

Then he started laughing and Junaid asked, “Why are you laughing?” He said, “You come nearer and closer.” He threw off the veil from the woman’s face - she was a very, very old woman. Junaid came to know that she was the man’s mother and in the decanter, in the surahi, there was nothing but pure water.

All that you can do is to judge from the outside - immediately your mind starts spinning. You see a certain thing and there is no gap: the mind starts spinning and it creates an interpretation. Your interpretation is not reality. You are unreal, how can your interpretation be real? From an unreal being only an unreal interpretation is possible. Drop all interpretations, all judgements. If you want to know a real man of awareness, a Buddha, a Christ, then drop judgements.

It is very, very difficult to drop judgments and to remain without judgment, to just watch, to just see, to just allow things to take their own course. If you don’t do that, what Lao Tzu says, will happen.

He says:

The highest perfection is like imperfection.

To you, of course. If you come to a perfect man he will look like imperfection. Why? It is very subtle but try to understand it.

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